Tuesday, November 09, 2004

1300 words on Washed in the Blood today. For me, that is an astounding amount. I've come to the brink, now. Maggie will have to die either tomorrow or Thursday. I hate it, but there's nothing I can do about it. Nothing. Shit.

I've always loved vampires. I love their danger and sensuality, the aura of mystery and forces beyond human knowledge. Vampires are powerful symbols of the evil that can take over a person and turn him into a monster, though he yet appears human. They are the predators in the night before which we are helpless and have only our religious belief to guard us from death or worse.

In working on this novel, I have had to address some serious philosophical and practical questions about vampires, as well some not so serious ones. By applying character building and worldbuilding techniques to the problem, I have come up with a few answers:

1.) Do vampires have souls? Though they are often called "soulless monsters", I have come to the conclusion that they do, in fact, retain the soul of the human that they once were. I believe this (for the purpose of this novel, anyway) for a couple of reasons. First, something must be animating the body. It it retains the memories and personality of its previous existence, then it stands to reason that it would also retain the soul. Second, something has to be animating the body. If this is not a soul, then we are faced with a being that can commit any amount of evil without any consequences. I believe in consequences. I believe that, as sentient beings, vampires have the free will to choose their moral path for themselves with the possibility of redemption at the end.

2.) Do vampires breathe? This has no impact on my current WIP, but interests me anyway. There is a strong supernatural element about vampires. They exist solely on human blood, which would imply no byproducts or waste disposal issues. They are, strictly speaking, not alive, so they don't really need a metabolism and therefore no oxygen. If they had to breathe, that would be a potential fatal weakness, as they could be smothered, and this has never been considered an option for slaying vampires. I prefer to believe that they can breathe, though they don'y need to.

3.) What's the deal with mirrors and cameras? Does this carry over to video recordings and digital cameras? Mirrors and film development both depend on silver: silver chloride on the back of the glass to make a mirror and a silver emulsion to develop pictures from film. Silver has always been considered a powerful force against the supernatural, and evil in particular, so it seems to me that the silver would reject the image of a vampire. Since video cameras and digital cameras don't use silver to capture and preserve images, then vampires should appear on video tapes and digital images.

4.) If they cannot use mirrors, how do vampires shave? This question presupposes an answer to a larger question: do vampires' hair continue to grow? Though seemingly facetious, this is a tough question. Are vampires alive or dead? If they are alive, then hair and nails will continue to grow. If they are dead, hair and nails do not grow. Problem: vampires are neither alive nor dead. They are "undead". Hmmmmm. I have to come down on the side of hair and nails not growing. Since a vampire's body is preserved through supernatural means, it does not need such mundane aggravations as shaving, haircuts, or nail trimming.

Oh well, enough mindless speculations for one day. Heigh-ho, heigh-ho.


At 12:00 PM, Blogger Holly said...

Nice vampire worldbuilding. Everything you've come up with works for me, and the consequence of your choices should make for some great complications.


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